The Great Depression Essay Research Paper by

The Great Depression Essay, Research Paper

by steve Carson



Though most Americans are cognizant of the Great Depression of 1929,

which may good be & # 8220 ; the most serious job confronting our free endeavor

economic system & # 8221 ; , few know of the many Americans who lost their places,

life nest eggs and occupations. This paper briefly states the causes of the

depression and summarizes the huge jobs Americans faced during the

11 old ages of its span. This paper chiefly focuses on what life

was like for husbandmans during the clip of the Depression, as portrayed

in John Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s The Grapes of Wrath, and tells what the authorities

did to stop the Depression.

In the 1920 & # 8217 ; s, after World War 1, danger signals were evident

that a great Depression was coming. A major cause of the Depression

was that the wage of workers did non increase at all. Because of this,

they couldn & # 8217 ; t afford manufactured goods. While the mills were

still fabricating goods, Americans weren & # 8217 ; t able to afford them and

the mills made no money ( Drewry and O & # 8217 ; connor 559 ) .

Another major cause related to husbandmans. Farmers weren & # 8217 ; t making to

good because they were bring forthing more harvests and farm merchandises than

could be sold at high monetary values. Therefore, they made a really little

net income. This deficient net income wouldn & # 8217 ; t let the husbandmans to

purchase new machinery and because of this they couldn & # 8217 ; t produce goods

speedy plenty ( Drewry and O & # 8217 ; connor 559 ) .

A new program was created called the installment program. This program was

established because many Americans didn & # 8217 ; Ts have adequate money to purchase

goods and services that were needed or wanted. The installment program

stated that people could purchase merchandises on recognition and do monthly

payments. The one major job with this thought was that people shortly

found out that they couldn & # 8217 ; t afford to do the monthly payment ( Drewry

and O & # 8217 ; connor 559 ) .

In 1929 the stock market crashed. Many Americans purchased stocks

because they were certain of the economic system. Peoples started selling

their stocks at a fast gait ; over 16 million stocks were sold!

Numerous stock monetary values dropped to fraction of their value. Banks lost

money from the stock market and from Americans who couldn & # 8217 ; t pay back

loans. Many mills lost money and went out of concern because of

this great calamity ( Drewry and O & # 8217 ; connor

By the 1930 & # 8217 ; s, 13 million workers lost their occupations which is

25 per centum of all workers. The inkinesss and unskilled workers were

ever the first to be fired. Farmers had no money and weren & # 8217 ; T

capable of paying their mortgages. Americans traveled throughout the

state looking for a topographic point to work to back up themselves and their

household ( Drewry and O & # 8217 ; connor 560-561 ) . John Steinbeck, born in 1902,

grew up during the Depression near the fertile Salinas Valley and

wrote many books of fiction based on his background and experiences

during that clip and country of the state. One of his great plants would

be the Grapes of Wrath In this book, Steinbeck describes the husbandmans

predicament during the Great Depression and drouth. When the rains failed

to come, the grass began to vanish. As the husbandmans watched their

workss turn brown and the soil easy turn to dust they began to fear

what was to come. In the water-cut gullies the Earth dusted down in

dry small watercourses. As the crisp sun struck twenty-four hours after twenty-four hours, the foliages

of the immature maize became less stiff and vertical ; so it was June and

the Sun shone more ferociously. The brown lines on the maize foliages

widened and moved in on the cardinal ribs. The weeds frayed and edged

back toward their roots. The air was thin and the sky more pale ; and

every twenty-four hours the Earth paled. ( qtd. Steinbeck 2-3 ) . The husbandmans worst

frights were realized when their maize and other harvests began to decease. The

dust became so bad they had to cover their oral cavities with hankies

so they could breath ( Steinbeck 3- When the drouth hit the Great

Plains and the dirt turned to dust, many husbandmans moved to California

because they could no longer farm their land ( Drewry and O & # 8217 ; Connor 561 ) .

The drouth began to impact other parts of the state. In 1930,

Virginia & # 8217 ; s belt of fertile land dried up. Ponds, watercourses, and springs

all dried up and the great Mississippi River H2O degree sank lower

than of all time recorded. Small husbandmans every-where began to experience the

drouth. Their little gardens were ruined and their maize harvest was cut

about down to nil. The hay and grass needed to feed their

farm animal was no longer available. They now faced a major job -how

to feed their farm animal. The silos were quickly emptying and the barns

in many instances were empty. The husbandmans were terrified that the

authorities provender loans wouldn & # 8217 ; t be available to maintain the farm animal from

deceasing. In many instances, the Red Cross was doing allowances for provender to

maintain alive farm animal ( Meltzer 121 ) . The little husbandmans of fruit trees

and vegetable workss depended on others who ran canneries to bottle

and can their green goods. The people they depended upon were the same

people that hired scientists to experiment on the

fruits and

veggies to come up with better tasting and giving green goods. Therefore

the little husbandmans were dependent on these same rich landholders for

about everything. They couldn & # 8217 ; t harvest their green goods on their ain

so they sold it to the rich landholders and therefore made really small money

on their green goods ( Steinbeck 444-447 ) . The husbandmans found themselves in

debt caused by the purchase of land, tools, animate beings and other points

bought on recognition. This recognition was due to the bank and when the

husbandmans found them- egos unable to refund the debts the bank took

off everything they had & # 8211 ; their land, places, animate beings and equipment.

When the Bankss took over, they went in with tractors and destroyed

everything on the farms which included their places and barns. This is

best por- trayed in Steinbeck & # 8217 ; s description of how the tractors

destroyed everything in its manner. & # 8220 ; The Fe guard spot into the house

corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the small house from its

foundation, crushed like a bug ( 50 ) .

& # 8220 ; In the small houses the renter people sifted their properties

and the properties of their male parent and of their grampss & # 8221 ;

( Steinbeck 111 ) . This describes how after many coevalss of farming

on their land these people had to garner their belongings and memories

and so seek to sell whatever they could. The husbandmans were so

desperate for money that they had to sell for literally

pennies.Steinbeck describes the despairing conversation of a husbandman to

a persepective purchaser & # 8220 ; Well, take it-all junk-and give me five dollars.

You & # 8217 ; rhenium non purchasing merely debris, you & # 8217 ; re purchasing junked lives & # 8221 ; ( Steinbeck

112 ) .

The despair for work and money became so bad that they were

willing to work for every bit small as was offered merely so they could hold

some kind of occupation and do any sum of money. Soon it was a battle

for life or decease ( Steinbeck ) . In a despairing hunt for a occupation

husbandmans moved themselves and their households all over the state. As

people wandered the state looking for work they were unable to populate

in one topographic point. Large Numberss of stateless people led to Hoovervilles.

The husbandmans and their households had to construct places out of anything

that they could get as Steinbeck describes & # 8220 ; The South wall was

made of three sheets of rusy corrugated Fe, the east a square of

moldy rug tacked between two board, the North palisade a strip of

roofing paper and a strip of tatterdemalion canvas, and the west wall six

pieces of burlap plundering & # 8221 ; ( Steinbeck 310-311 ) . The places were normally

near H2O beginning so they could hold H2O to imbibe from, cook and

rinse their vesture ( Steinbeck 311 ) .

To cut down the figure of people seeking occupations or necessitating aid, the

authorities decided to seek to come up with some kind of alleviation. Among

other things, they limited in-migration, returned 100s of Mexicans

life here, and sought other methods to assist the husbandmans. Hoover & # 8217 ; s

Federal Farm Board urged husbandmans to works less so that monetary values would travel

up but at that place was no encouragement to make so.From 1920 to 1932 farm

production did drop 6 per centum but monetary values fell ten times as much-by 63

per centum. Farmers watched monetary values hit new lows-15 cents for maize, 5

cents for cotton and wool, pigs and sugar 3 cents, and beef 2.5

cents ( Meltzer 123 ) . With farm monetary values so low, most husbandmans, populating

under the fright of their mortgages, knew that Oklahoman or subsequently they will

lose everything. In 1932 the husbandmans declared a vacation on merchandising.

They picketed roads inquiring people to fall in the. They gave off free

milk to the hapless and unemployed instead so allow it botch because they

refused to sell it. A thirty-day vacation on farm merchandising was begun

August 8 and extended indefinitely ( Meltzer 125 ) . In December 1932, 250

husbandmans from 26 provinces gathered together for a Farmers

National Relief Conference. They announced that they demand alleviation

from creditors who threaten to brush them from their places and

land ( Meltzer 126 ) .

In May 1933, the Agricultural Ajustment Act was passed. The purpose

of this act was to raise the farm monetary values by turning less. The husbandmans

were paid non to utilize all the land to works harvests. The money came from

revenue enhancement on Millers, meat baggers, and other nutrient industries. In June of

that same twelvemonth the Farm Credit Act was passed. This act helped

husbandmans get low involvement loans. With this act, husbandmans wouldn & # 8217 ; t lose

their farms to the Bankss that held the mortgages. The husbandmans who

lost their farms already would besides have low involvement loans ( Drewry

and O & # 8217 ; connor 569 ) .

The Great Depression was the terminal consequence of World War I. It

affected the rich and hapless alike, mill workers and husbandmans, bankers

and stockbrokers. In short, it affected everyone ; no 1 was left

untasted. But of all the people hurt, husbandmans were the worst off.

John Steinbeck chose to compose about husbandmans trusting that Americans

would acknowledge their predicament and rectify the state of affairs. The Great

Depression is known to be the worst economic catastrophe in U. S.

history. For this ground, the Depression caused many people to alter

their thoughts about the authorities and economic system.

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